Netball NSW has postponed the 2021 HART Junior State Titles which were due to take place this weekend in Penrith.
The Junior State Titles are a flagship event within the Netball NSW pathway. The three-day tournament, which was due to take place from Saturday to Monday showcases the strength of grassroots netball with young players from all over the state coming together.
Penrith District Netball Association was set to host players in Divisions 1 and 2 in the 14U, 13U and 12U age groups, with Baulkham Hills Shire Netball Association due to host Divisions 3 and 4 in the same age brackets.
With the population of Greater Sydney being been advised by the NSW Government not to travel beyond the city limits, Netball NSW decided it could not, in all good conscience, encourage the regional netball community to do the opposite.
Planning is currently underway to work out when the Junior State Titles can be held later in the year.
Netball NSW CEO Tain Drinkwater said she understood the frustration today’s decision would cause, but noted it was made with the community in mind.
“The decision to postpone the HART Junior State Titles was an immensely difficult one to make, however when you see what is happening in Sydney at the moment it is the right call,” she said.
“First and foremost our thoughts are with the game’s youngest participants who have been working so hard in the lead-up to the event, I know this will be difficult news to hear.
“But please remember it is only a postponement at this stage so there is a silver lining. Our competitions team is already working diligently on how we can make an alternative work later in the year.
“We cannot guarantee that the competition will have the exact same format as the one currently planned, or that the new dates will work for every participant, but we are confident the Junior State Titles will take place in the coming months. We hope to have provisional details of the rescheduled event in the coming days.
“Netball NSW works to serve the netball community and the health and wellbeing of every player, coach, official, volunteer, staff member and supporter is our No.1 priority.”
Netball NSW President Louise Sullivan echoed Drinkwater’s sentiments:
“On behalf of the Board of Netball NSW we share the disappointment that many of our game’s community are feeling today but health must always come first,” Sullivan said.
“We have been fortunate to play netball in relative normality so far in 2021 but we always knew the threat of COVID-19 could strike at any time.
“Thankfully our team at Netball NSW is already working on an alternative and we appreciate the patience of our netball family throughout the state as we negotiate the current situation.”